Daily Management Review

Saudi Aramco Talking To Reliance Industries On India Investments: Company CEO


Saudi Aramco is holding negotiations with the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries for possible investments, said the Saudi company’s chief executive officer, Amin Nassar, on Wednesday. The company is also looking at some other possible areas to invest in India, Nassar said.
An agreement between a consortium of state-owned Indian refiners and Saudi Aramco was signed in April for being a part of a refinery project on the west coast of India worth $44 billion.
"We are looking at additional investment in India so we are in discussions with other companies as well, including Reliance and others," Nasser said during a panel discussion in New Delhi. "We are looking at it. We are not limited to that investment which is the mega refinery," he said talking about the project. The huge refinery would have the capacity to process 1.2 million bpd of crude and churn out 18 million tonnes of petrochemicals every year.
Nasser is in India as a part of a delegation that is visiting India along with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, for a one-day visit.
Mukesh Ambano, the richest man in Asia, is the controller of Reliance Industries, which is also the largest refining and petrochemicals company of India. The company operates a refinery with a capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in Jamnagar, Gujarat state of India. According to reports, the company targets to enhance production capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is the largest crude oil exporter of the world and is looking to expand its reach further into the oil refining and petrochemicals business segment. India, which is also a large importer of Saudi oil, would be a market for Aramco which would be fast growing for oil and fuels.
"India is an investment priority for Saudi Aramco. India takes from us almost 800,000 barrels a day and by 2040 India's total consumption will be around 8.2 million barrels per day," Nasser said.
According to figures from the Indian government, with demand of 4.7 million bpd, India is currently third-biggest crude oil consumer in the world.
But the new project can result in a delayed decision by Aramco because the company is already dealing with delays for a refinery project which had been planned to be set up in the western state of Maharashtra because of refusal by thousands of farmers to sell or surrender their land. The location of the refinery is being sought ot be moved by the state government, reported news agency Reuters on Tuesday.
Also on the discussion panel was the chief executive officer for SABIC, the Saudi Arabia-based petrochemical company, Yousef al-Benyan, who said that his company too wants to make investments and increase its presence in the Indian market. SABIC is the fourth largest petro company in the world.